I started into the hobby last fall when I decided to setup a tank for a goldfish that spent its summer in my mothers outdoor fountain. I figured that a tank was kinder than the toilet, and it was getting to by quite cool in mid October! The fountain had become so overrun with algae that you couldn't see more than a few inches down, much less find the poor fish!
This first tank was a 20 gal
and I decided that I wanted it to be a planted aquarium where the plants would help keep things balanced. After about 2 months I finally got the nitrogen cycle settled down (in the meantime I had ammonia levels soaring well past 8 ppm
!!) and had a basically maintenance-free tank. I used a AquaClear 70 HOB
and setup a corner filter with ceramic biomedia.
Once I had the goldfish sorted out and established in their new home I decided to go big and start up a 75 gal
planted tropical tank. I started it with 10 rasboras from walmart and dropped in the corner filter from the goldfish tank to set things in motion, this worked quite well and I never saw the ammonia or nitrite levels over 1 ppm
! I also bought a AquaClear 110 for this tank and a couple sponge filters. Now the tank has 3 angelfish, several Mollies, a couple ottos, and a pleco. I also have been running CO2
injection although at the moment I'm out of cylinders. Recently I purchased a 5 stage canister filter as well, as I prefer redundancy in my filtration. (on this note I am also running a 5 gal
sump on the goldfish tank)